In October 2008, nearly 150 citizens from many walks of life came together at the Addison County Conservation Congress in Bristol, co-sponsored by Vermont Family Forests and the ACORN Network, to imagine the future of our county in the year 2020.

VISION 2020 is a summary of their collective thinking and includes recommendations for the next steps we need to take to move towards a more secure, prosperous and sustainable future.

Preamble to VISION 2020:

“Our Community Declaration of Interdependence”

Our world is at a crossroads. We have entered what has been called the “Transition,” the “Great Turning”, and “Our Moment of Grace.”

Three clouds now hang over this consumer age:

  • Peaking oil supplies and the beginning of the end of the era of ‘cheap’ fossil fuels;
  • Rapidly changing climate and the disruption of the earth’s basic support systems; and,
  • The collapse of our debt-ridden financial system. As this age draws to a close, we must move swiftly to a more just and sustainable world.

We cannot expect to know nor be completely ready for what is coming. However, it is clear from the three clouds that very significant change is coming. This change will require that we become more realistic in our wants and more local in meeting our basic needs.

As William McDonough has said, “All sustainability is local.” We must cultivate responsibility at the grassroots level and get back to the basics in our local communities. Many of us will have to learn how to live and work in partnership with nature and to recognize and respect her limits. We will have to live more frugally and to depend upon each other much more. Many of our elders will be a great help here. If we do this work well, life will be richer, healthier, and happier.

‘Community’ means ‘to share our gifts together,’ be they the gifts of nature, our work, our families and friends, or our selves. Addison County has been endowed with a rich inheritance of beautiful farmland and forests, lakes and rivers and mountains. Its citizens are resourceful, intelligent, caring, honest, and hard-working. We celebrate these gifts and are confident that we can and will find our way if we work together.

VISION 2020 is an exploration of our Addison County community in the year 2020. It is a vision of a culture of interdependence, participation and collaboration rooted in ecological sustainability, energy efficiency, resource conservation, and ethics.

VISION 2020 calls for a creative — and even radical — redesign of the way we think, work, and live with each other and with nature. We hope you and yours will read it in its entirety and find your way to participate in bringing this collective vision to life. Click here to download VISION 2020 (1.5mb PDF)

This is our moment of grace. This is our time to manifest a new era. There is much to be done. There is no time to waste.

David Brynn, Vermont Family Forests
Jonathan Corcoran, ACORN
The 2008 Addison County Conservation Congress